A young female driver who hit and killed 16-year-old cyclist Shaye Tallis after running an amber light at a Barrack Heights intersection two years ago has narrowly avoided jail time.
Dimity Quinlan was driving her white Nissan Pulsar in a northbound direction on Wattle Road on the evening of February 11, 2020, when she sped up to drive through an amber light at the Benson Avenue intersection.
She hit Shaye as he rode across the street on a black Diamondback BMX bike, in contravention of a red walk signal and without wearing a helmet.
The impact of the collision caused Shaye to smash into the windscreen, as Quinlan broke harshly and eventually came to a stop.
Shaye was treated by paramedics at the scene before being flown to hospital where he later died.
Quinlan was subsequently charged with dangerous driving occasioning death. She pleaded not guilty to the charge but was found guilty by a jury after a short trial in March.
Judge Andrew Haesler sentenced Quinlan to a two-year community-based intensive correction order in Wollongong District Court on Tuesday, saying there was "little utility" in sending her to jail.
As part of the order, Quinlan must be supervised by Community Corrections. She was also banned from driving for two-and-a-half years.
Earlier in the sentencing hearing, Shaye's father, Fred Tallis, described his son as his "little diamond".
He said Shaye had been born with a heart defect and had undergone heart surgery at just six months old.
He said his "little warrior" had spent much of his life in and out of hospital, attending medical appointments.
"He endured so much over his short life," Mr Tallis said.
"I was always scared we would lose him to his heart condition, not to this devastating, tragic and horrible event."
Meanwhile, Quinlan penned her own heartfelt letter of apology to the court, saying not a day went by where she didn't think of Shaye.
"I'm absolutely shattered I caused so much heartache to his family and friends," she said.
"I'm so deeply remorseful for what's happened."
The court heard Quinlan, a volunteer in the local arts community, suffered from post-traumatic stress as a result of the crash and its consequences, on top of already diagnosed depression and anxiety.
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